What conditions must be met
The Czech civil code states 3 fundamental conditions for uncontested divorce:
At least 6 months of separation
The first condition states that as of the day the petition was filed, the couple must have been married for no less than a year and must not have been living together for at least 6 months. The latter aims to motivate couples not to file a divorce petition hastily after a major argument.
Your Attorneys Online advise: How to interpret the expression “not living together”?
Paragraph 758 of the civil code defines this clearly: “Spouses are deemed not to live together if they do not form marital or family community, regardless of whether they have or maintain a family household, and at least one of the spouses clearly lacks the will to renew the marital community.”
Simply, this means that the couple may continue to occupy the same home, but don’t treat each other as a spouse, don’t share their joys, worries or intimacies, and harbour no wish to do so.
“This issue may be perceived subjectively to an extent; the court usually takes the couple’s word for it.”
Lucie Petránková, divorce solicitor
Agreements containing errors can cause unnecessary delay
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Minor children care agreement
To meet the second condition, the married couple must agree on where and with whom their minor children under age 18 will live. Such an agreement should include the type of custody (joint, shared or sole – however, note that these concepts may work differently in Czechia) and how the contact with the other parent will be maintained.
Tip: Alimonies represent a substantial part of any agreement regarding minor children.
Even if the children will spend an equal amount of time with either parent, the agreement ought to state that the parents have agreed that no maintenance shall be paid between them. This may prevent many a dispute should their relationship change for the worse. Subsequently, the minor children care agreement must be acknowledged by the court. As with a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce takes two hearings. However, if an agreement has been negotiated beforehand, there should be but one simple hearing concerning the child care.
Property settlement, living arrangements and maintenance payments
The third condition set by the civil code states that the couple must reach an agreement regarding property settlement, the future living arrangements and the eventual alimonies. In most cases, such agreements emphasize matrimonial property division – e.g., the couple negotiates who keeps the car or the flat and how much one pays to buy the other out, where they’ll live after the divorce and whether one of them will be entitled to maintenance payments as well as their eventual amount. Moreover, they can agree on who stays in the flat they’ve been renting together, within what time frame the other has to move out and whether they’ll receive reimbursement for that.
The property settlement must come in writing, with both signatures (the wife’s and husband’s) attested. It may be entered by means of a notarial record; furthermore, it may contain the so-called executory clause – a useful tool when one spouse is to pay a substantial amount to the other. The executory clause allows for easier exacting of the claim.
Tip: What are the rough costs of an uncontested divorce and who pays for it?
What is the hearing like for an uncontested divorce?
Once all three conditions have been met, that is, the couple has both the property settlement agreement and the judgement of the court that acknowledged their child care agreement, the divorce process itself can commence. The divorce suit is usually taken to the court holding jurisdiction over the couple’s most recent place of residence. You’ll need:
- the divorce petition, filed either by one of the spouses or jointly,
- to provide the necessary documents, i.e., the agreements mentioned above, plus the marriage certificate,
- to pay the court fee.
Tip: Make sure that you have all the documents required.
Subsequently, the court orders a hearing. Even with an uncontested divorce, the court usually requires the presence of both spouses and asks them to state their case, even if only informally. In contrast to a contested divorce, the court doesn’t strive to determine the causes of the breach, thus sparing the couple an awkward interrogation. The whole suit is usually decided during one hearing. Divorce is one of the most challenging life events and represents a severe blow to many.
In this article, we’ve demonstrated a way to effectively face the situation in terms of law. However, the emotional and legal aspects are normally interconnected, and a smooth divorce usually signifies good terms afterwards. For this reason, we’re ready to provide counsel regarding your particular case, to draft flawless divorce settlements, and to eventually defend you in the court.